A CONVERSATION WITH: INLET SOUND
Inlet Sound is causing quite a buzz within the indie music community of Toronto. They’ve been working hard over the last year, and with three shows coming up during NXNE and the recent release of a music video for their track “Young Hearts”, they’re ready to take on the summer with all that talent under their belts.
I recently had a lovely conversation with Michael Wexler, guitarist and vocalist for the band where we discussed their experiences with working with Chris Mills for the video shoot, the importance of having passion to be a musician, and what their plans are for the next couple of months.
So you guys have 3 shows happening during NXNE 2013?
We do! Most of them just came together in the last week or so. Our first is our official one, sort of a stripped down set at The Cameron House on Thursday, then on Friday we’re playing at 3030 Dundas which we played the first time last year during NXNE when we started working with Audio Blood. It’s in the Junction, cool new venue, only a year old, they do things their own way. The show is sponsored by Beau’s All Natural beer; which is delicious. Unfortunately we’re playing at the same time as The National, so we’ll have to miss that. Then a couple of days ago we were asked to play the CBC Radio 3 Fan Picnic at the park on Saturday. Not sure what our turnout would be like, but we’re all excited.
During this type of festival do you try and do anything during your set that may set you a part for the countless other acts that are playing?
To be honest, I just try to do my own thing, I can’t speak for my other band mates, but I feel like if you purposefully try and do something to set myself apart from other acts it may come off kind of kitschy. I know for myself when I go see an act or something, if I can just stand there and listen, or get into and dance, or be wrapped up in it emotionally, that’s what matters to me. If the performance is there, then that’s the kind of show I’m going to come out to. I don’t think anyone will ever be able to discover the 1,000 bands playing NXNE but if people show up, I’m hoping that if we share our most emotive qualities it will get peoples attention.
That’s great. I think that’s definitely a great mindset to have as a performer at this kind of festival.
For sure. Otherwise you may drive yourself crazy trying to be flashy.
Are there any other acts during NXNE that you hope to see?
A lot of buddies’ bands really. But it’s tough to try and make it to everything. I’d like to try and see bands that I normally wouldn’t get to see during the regular season; not that playing in a band is like a competitive sport and these are this is play-off season or something. My friends band, Alright Alright they’re doing the Bellwoods Picnic stuff, they would be really cool to check out. They’re doing a stripped down kind of set. I’ve just been so busy that I haven’t had a chance to look up all the shows that are happening. We’re playing with a band called Silver Creek who are from Ottawa who I would recommend checking out as well.
Are there any bands that you would like to tour with one day?
I have a desire to tour with a band like Hey Rosetta!, or Wintersleep. Actually. My biggest band crush right now would be Frightened Rabbit; they’re this indie band from Scotland. I would probably be so dumbfounded on stage though that I wouldn’t remember what I had to do.
I just watched your video for “Young Hearts” it looks like you guys had a lot of fun on that shoot.
It was a blast!
Mind telling me a bit about that experience? And did you guys have a hand in conceptualizing the video at all?
The concept itself came from Chris Mills the director. Working with him was truly a wish come true. I had known him personally from when I worked with him in the past. We had applied for several grants to do a video, and it was our sixth or seventh try and we got this grant and then by random we were making a video with Chris Mills. The concept was all his. It was a bit of a struggle for me to let go of creative control on this one. It wasn’t easy at first, but it helped that I knew Chris and loved his work in the past.
What’s the writing process like for you guys?
I don’t think we’ve ever had a formula. I think how it works usually is Shawn and myself will come up with ideas, usually, and we kind of bring them to everyone else. Often Shawn and I will come up with a structure or something so we can bring something with a little more substance to everyone else. For example, one of our new tracks that we’re actually going into the studio to record next week – Shawn and I were just sitting in my living room one day and jamming out a couple different things and in like 30 minutes, we had this entire song written. We brought it to the band and played it on tour to get a feel for it, kind of road test it. And now, we’re sort of re-structuring and piecing it apart, adding things, now that we have an idea of what works for us. It’s always different, but I think we’re getting into a bit of a groove.
Do you have any advice for any bands that are out there right now trying to do what you’re doing?
Just do it because you love it. Just do it because it’s emotional therapy for some people (laughs). If it feels right, if you feel like you have to do it, then just do it. That’s pretty much all I can say. It’s not easy right? The return is great if you have your perspective set. If your mind-set isn’t that you’re going to be an overnight rock star then your head is in the right place. There’s little to no money in it, there’s a lot of enjoyment if you’re willing to put in the legwork. If you love it, then it’s worth it.
What’s next on the agenda for Inlet Sound?
Like I mentioned, we’re going in the studio next week to do that one song. We’re doing a Canada Day show here in Toronto and then we’re flying out west to play a couple of festivals and a bunch of bar gigs, and then we’ve got a show August 16th here at The Horseshoe, then we’re probably going to take a little time off from shows to write and figure things out from there.
It sounds like you’ll be earning that break!
Yeah it’s been a busy year. But at the same time to write something with conviction also means to live with conviction. I think that if you want to have something to write about, something to sing about, you sort of have to live your life to a degree as well. I think it’s just a balance of things. You can’t just stare at a wall and write. I guess it might work for some people.
I guess if you’re hoping to write something a little more profound, you’re going to have to live a little.
It might help. You can quote me on that one; ‘Life helps…I’m deep’. (laughs)
That’s what I’ll call the article: ‘Life Helps’. I promise I won’t!
(laughs) I’m not worried.
Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to me today.
No problem, thanks for calling!